Innovations that signified ITMA 2023: ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award

Three projects nominated for the 2023 ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award in the Industry share the goal of improving resource efficiency and reducing waste while improving resource efficiency, fabric performance and ensuring sustainability.

Cematex’s President, Ernesto Maurer said, “CEMATEX launched the ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award in 2015 to encourage and recognize the collaborative efforts of our exhibitors and their customers for the industry excellence category.”

This year, the three companies who have received this award are:

  • Limonta, nominated by Navis TubeTex for the new Bio-FREED dyeing system.
  • Candiani SpA, nominated by Bergamo, Italy-based partner FKgroup, for developing the Candiani Custom services package.
  • Denim Moda, nominated by Jeanologia for establishing the Denim Moda Urban Factory in Italy.

The era of protein fabrication on textiles

Limonta, a vertically integrated textile group, worked with New Jersey-based protein biochemistry company Modern Meadow and ITMA exhibitor Navis TubeTex to develop the product. Bio-FREED, powered by Bio Alloys. Leveraging Modern Meadow’s biomanufacturing expertise and Navis TubeTex’s extensive knowledge of textile machinery, Limonta is poised to revolutionize the industry and promote sustainable practices.

Catherine Roggero-Lovisi, CEO of Modern Meadow, said: “By combining the groundbreaking Modern Meadow Bio-FREED™ powered by Bio-Alloy™, our revolutionary blend of plant proteins and biopolymers, with the innovative technology of Navis TubeTex – advanced equipment, we have created an innovative dyeing process faster and saving resources. and 80% less dyes and chemicals without compromising quality or performance.

Their collaboration has recently showcased a QUAD-B innovation basket which includes:

  1. BIOFABRICA BIO-TEX: Bio-Tex™ is the first innovation powered by Bio-Alloy™ Technology, a coated fabric that delivers outstanding performance and color vibrancy while reducing GHG emissions by more than 90% compared to a traditional, LCA-based tan. Bio-TexTM is a material system consisting of a Bio-AlloyTM coating applied to a fabric backing, giving designers unparalleled flexibility in colour, touch, and more.
  2. BIO-VERA: VEGAN ENGINEERED RENEWABLE ALTERNATIVE: Bio-VERA™ is a new, sustainable, animal-free biomaterial that looks and feels as natural as traditional leather, suede or chamois. Bio-VERA™ eliminates animal-derived inputs in favour of renewable, traceable inputs origin. Available in rolls, Bio-VERA™ requires no special storage or storage conditions and is available on a large scale with reduced production costs and complexity. This non-woven material is designed to surpass the durability of leather while providing the look, feel, and durability of traditional leather. With a wide choice of colors and finishes, Bio-VERA™ redefines the possibilities of durability and aesthetics. Bio Vera’s unique features are:
    •  Design freedom with less waste
    •  More than 90% of the content is sustainable before completion
    •  Available on request
    •  Vegetarian and no animals
    •   Stronger than leather
    •  Simplify supply chain
  3. BIO-FREED: FAST RESOURCE EFFICIENT ENHANCED DYEING PROCESS: Bio-FREED is a highly efficient, foam-based, one-step dyeing system that uses 95% less water, 75% less energy, 80% less dyes and chemicals, and no salts compared to conventional dyeing. With Bio-FREED, textiles of any type can be dyed with reactive or acid dyes without limitation or color migration up to 10 times faster. Bio-FREED brings sustainable innovation and reduced environmental impact to the textile manufacturing process. The features are:
    • No color shifting
    • Unlimited colors
    • 10 times faster
    • Can be dyed on all fabric
    • One-step process for dye mix
    • Can be dyed with reactive dyes and acids
    • High content of biologically active ingredients (>50%)
    • High throughput with low carbon emissions
  4. BIO-TEX SHIELD: WATERPROOF & BREATHABLE MEMBRANE: Bio-Tex Shield™ is a high-performance waterproof and breathable bio-based membrane with reduced input materials and increased durability. Its high wear resistance eliminates the need for an additional outer layer. Bio-Tex ShieldTM is made without PFAs or solvents.
    • Lightweight, so comfortable
    • Can be dyed with intensified color spectrum
    • High bio-renewable content (>60%)
    • Free of solvents and PFA 

New Dimensional Denim for a green world:

Figure 1: Illustration of decomposition of denim. Courtesy: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Denim is made from cotton; most cotton is grown with toxic fertilizers and pesticides and requires huge amounts of water. One pair of non-organic cotton jeans can use more than 1,800 gallons, A massive water usage in African countries already suffering from a water crisis. Candiani Spa was one of the first to use the most responsible cotton, yarns, dyes, and clean technologies to save water and energy and replace harmful chemicals. Prioritizing circularity in their manufacturing process and as a fundamental part of their product design, they are now aimed to produce more sustainable and nature-friendly denim.

 Candiani Denim was first established in 1938, a short distance from Milan and the Alps mountain. Candiani Denim is an internationally renowned vertically integrated denim factory. Specializing in stiff and stretch denim, as well as full-length and edge denim, Candiani is today the largest denim factory in Europe. It now has a strong supply chain with some of the world’s most prestigious fashion brands like Denham, Jonathon Mannion, Swiss Jeans Freak etc. The innovations of Candiani are-

  1. COVERA:
  • The first fully natural and compostable stretch denim that is completely free from plastics and microplastics.
  • A maestro of circular fashion which has completely replaced synthetic yarn with 100% biodegradable cotton.
  1. PREMIUM REGENERATIVE DENIM: The definition of regenerative denim combines high-quality fabric, authentic wash, and superior performance. Regenerative cotton also improves soil health, restores natural ecosystems, safeguards biodiversity, and keeps more CO2 below the ground.
    • The fibers obtained from the recycling of old jeans are mixed with Blue Seed cotton
    • PCR fabrics are more durable despite containing a great amount of recycled cotton, ranging between 21-26%.
    • Lightweight denim combining original denim flavor and regenerative cotton for an airy body sensation.
    • Looks classic in appearance, and can be the best fit for summer.
  3. ReLAST:
  • The first stretch denim fabric in the world produced with a unique, pre-consumer recycled elastomer.
  • 100% organic and pesticide-free fertilization.
  1. ReSOLVE:
    • Made of organic cotton and sized with a vegetal compound that is 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, and microplastic-free.
    • The main ingredients are- organic cotton, Indigo juice, N-denim, and V-sizing.
    • Features 3×1 weaves in both right-hand and left-hand twill sp, giving authentic, vintage, loose constructions that recall denim’s classic salt-and-pepper effect.
    •  High-density yarn constructions create a more straightforward, clean and sophisticated look.

Sustainability questionnaire of Candiani Denim: According to Alberto Candiani, owner and global manager of Candiani Denim, the sustainability manifesto is situated on 4 criteria:

  1. Lasting Legacy contributes to the sustainable development and economic vitality of a community.
  2. Intelligent ingredients that are eco-friendly, R&D innovated materials and transparent to the proper value chain.
  3. Trusted transparency ensures all-purpose communication with stakeholders and customers about their demands.

Microfactory and Mesmerizing Engineering development of apparel technology:

Figure 2: IRON, The newest cutting tool of FK group.

Candiani denim has looked forward to creating a more sustainable denim industry using advanced manufacturing and processing technologies. Consequently,  they have set up an urban factory in Spinetoli, Ascoli Piceno, central Italy. The urban plant in central Italy is equipped with Jeanologia garment finishing technologies as part of a full range of state-of-the-art equipment for producing new sustainable cotton and denim cotton products. Denim Moda offers its customers a complete product realization process, starting from concept and design. They have collaborated with FK group, one of the largest apparel machinery manufacturers, for their newest cutting tools. The fabric used for Candian denim is cut by FK group’s newest technology with the highest precision and waste elimination.

 FKgroup offers highly technological and customized solutions for textile products including clothing, home textile, furniture, fashion, aeronautics, geotextiles, etc. They are renowned among customers for precision, high efficiency, better lifetime, and smooth operation of their machinery. The newest cutting tool of them is named ‘IRON’. The cutting machines of the IRON line are characterized by extremely robust mechanics, which enables them to achieve exceptional results even with complicated cuttings and resistant fabrics. It can be operative 24 hours a day, 7/7, with constant efficiency.

Some latest technologies of FK Group are:

  1. AURORA Cutting system
    • 4KW double turbine system, one of the lowest in market
    • Energy saving, decrease in noise
  1. UNIVERSAL Cutting machine
    • Eco power vacuum system for generous power saving
    • Cutting flexibility for all types of materials
  1. AUTOMOTIVE Cutting machine
    • Refrigerated air blade cooling system
    • Eccentric bearing system
  1. CNC knife cutter
    • Fully computerized system
    • Remote controlling
    • Precision of work

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